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tv   Starting Point  CNN  March 21, 2013 4:00am-6:00am PDT

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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. welcome back. 58 minutes past the hour. hit what you see, see what you hit. nfl owners looking to penalize running backs who lower their heads and using the crown of their helmets. similar rule applies to defensive players. former giant brandon jacobs not mincing words tweeting, you're going to have to look here, how the f can we protect ourselves? "starting point" with swron berman and christina romans starts right now. good morning, everyone.
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i'm john berman. >> i'm christine romans. soledad has the day off today. our "starting point," two rockets land in israel during president obama's historic trip there. we're live in the west bank as the president is moechlts away now from a live news conference with palestinian president mahmoud abbas. we will bring that to you live. manhunt happening for the person who gunned down the head of colorado's prison systems. police in desperate search for a car and a witness who may have some answers. more rattling from north korea last night wit the threat that u.s. bases are within, quote, striking distance of their country. and the heat just on fire. down by double digits late in the game. they rally to keep the winning streak alive. 24 games and counting. will it ever stop? >> wow! good morning. it's thursday, march 21st. "starting point" begins right now. good morning again. our "starting point," president
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obama in the west bank with face-t face-t face-to-face with world leaders. the press conference is scheduled to start in a few minutes from now. >> the visit underscored by an early morning rocket attack in southern israel. two rockets fired from gaza, landing in the southern israeli city of sderot while the president was still in jerusalem. we're getting reports of property damage, but no injuries. right now the president is preparing to return to jerusalem after this lunch he's having right now with palestinian president mahmoud abbas. as we said, we are expecting to hear from the two leaders at any minute. our chief national correspondent, john king, is live from jerusalem this morning. john, the president is calling this trip to the west bank a listening tour. what do you think he expects to hear and what does he expect to accomplish? >> reporter: well, he's trying to find out, john and christine, just what it would take to ges get mahmoud abbas back to the
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negotiating table a day after hearing from prime minister netanyahu what is not a stalled but a dead peace process. pushing the parties to the table too fast there is a risk, because if they're not ready to deal, most people you talk to, whether palestinians or israelis, say if talks started again and then collapsed, you could have another long-term ramifications. what a day this is for the president. only in ramallah for a few hours. as you noted, the rocket attacks fired from gaza, controlled by hamas, not by mahmoud abbas and the palestinian authority, ab an acknowledgement that prime minister netanyahu claims all the time. who would he be negotiating with? fired out of gaza -- i was there the other day. perhaps it was not hamas himself, perhaps some other jihadist group but hamas has such control. who were they trying to send a message to, israelis, president obama or perhaps to the
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palestinian president, mahmoud abbas about be careful what uh-uh promise the american president? >> the president only spending four hours in the west bank today, not giving equal time to the palestinians as he is to the israelis on this trip. there have been some protests, demonstrations in the palestinian areas that the president is not fully committed to a two-state solution. what kind of message do you think he wants to send to the palestinians who may be protesting today? >> reporter: it's a critical point you make. what a turn of events. his first international trip in the first term was to cairo, giving that big speech about how essentially his message was i'm not george w. bush, the iraq war will be ending. i want to make peace and have better relations with the arab world. there was a great deal of hope, including in ramallah. i was there the other day. there were protests against president obama. there are posters all around ramallah, criticizing this trip. pictures of the president burned, protests for several days. to the point you made, just this
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morning he went to the israeli museum. he will come back to jerusalem to give a speech to the israeli people. just a few hours in ramallah with the palestinian president. there's a lot of questions in the palestinian leadership. again it's a fractured palestinian leadership. is this president now so desperate to repair relations with israel that he won't be an honest broker? >> we know that expectations at the white house are low, trying to keep expectations low for the outcome of this trip. we know the president is there in a listening capacity, but how is he working -- is he working to facilitate new peace talks? >> reporter: yes, but i think is the correct answer there, christine. if you talk to israeli officials, palestinian officials, white house officials, they're all worried if you rush the parties back to the table when they're not ready, not willing or perhaps not capable, not having the political power to make a deal that what you get might be worse. if you had a process restart and then collapse it could be worse. the first priority for the president is to make sure things
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don't get worse. when you visit ramallah and gaza, visit the west bank and go into the settlements that the palestinians are so mad about, people on both sides of this debate tell you they sense rising tension. rocket attacks, throwing stones at israeli settlers, causing some injuries. rocket attack out of gaza this morning. people are warning things could escalate again. number one priority for the president is to stop things from getting worse and to get both president abbas and prime minister netanyahu to work on talks and turn the temperature do down. secretary of state john kerry will stay a couple of days here and likely return very soon to start lay down the foundation. not for talks next week or next month but can they get these leaders to say and do the right thing? perhaps -- put a capital p on that perhaps, get them back to the negotiating table. there are so many difficult issues. >> we're about two minutes away
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from this press availability or speech we'll see from the two leaders. the reuters headline basically said after backslapping in israel, the president faces discontent on the second day of his trip. that pretty much sums it up. >> reporter: it does sum it up. it's hard because he needs to essentially try to help president abbas. the israeli government will tell you if they are going to make peace, president abbas is the one person they trust. he is aging. he has a fractured palestinian leadership. hamas is essentially sending the message to him we might not support you. be careful. plus the president of the yunitd states labels hamas a terrorist group. united states government before and after obama will likely claim hamas a terrorist group. his government labels part of the palestinian government a terrorist organization, trying to bring abbas back to the table. add into that this new
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resentment you sense on the palestinian street that the president is so worried about repairing relations. it's eight miles from ramallah to jerusalem. this is a tiny packed, tense neighborhood. the president's first international trip of his second term is much more focused on israel than it is on them. >> john king, thanks, in israel this morning. any second now we are waiting president obama, his remarks with the palestinian leader, mahmoud abbas. we will bring you those remarks the minute that they happen. meantime, new developments this morning following the possible use of chemical weapons in syria. dueling requests for an investigation. >> syrian government and the opposition are claiming each used chemical weapons in aleppo and a suburb. u.s. officials are trying to get proof that these weapons were used at all. barbara starr is at the pentagon for us. this point it's about confirming whether this sort of attack actual actually happened, barbara? >> that is correct, christine
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and john. u.s. intelligence community conducting its own investigation. we have new details about what they are looking at. as more pictures emerge of hospitalized syrians, u.s. intelligence agencies are in a massive, around-the-clock effort to determine if these people were attacked by chemical weapons. so far, u.s. officials say there is no corroboration. >> so far, we have no evidence to substantiate the reports that chemical weapons were used. >> reporter: in a classified briefing to congress, intelligence officials said it's not clear what happened, but cnn has learned new details about how the cia is trying to figure out exactly what did happen here. u.s. intelligence operatives are now talking to rebels and defectors to see what they know. at ft. dietrich, maryland, these videos are being analyzed by the pentagon's classified medical
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intelligence unit. officials tell cnn military analysts are looking at the patients' symptoms and conditions, along with reports from syrian doctors to see if the symptoms of suffocation and convulsions match a potential chemical attack. intelligence analysts are also looking at satellite imagery to identify movement of chemical weapons or launches of missiles that could have carried chemical warheads. they're looking at intercepts of cell phone and internet traffic for chatter about attacks. but, look, intelligence officials tell us with no u.s. military personnel, no u.s. intelligence operatives on the ground, inside syria, it may be very difficult for them to figure out what really happened here. all the high-tech gizmos in the world don't really beat having a good spy network on the ground. john, christine? >> thanks, barbara starr. >> just to tell you, we are monitoring that box in the corner of your screen right now, expecting a news conference any
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second with president obama and the palestinian president mahmoud abbas. we will bring that to you as it happens. another big story we're watching this morning. an all-out manhunt for a killer in colorado today. police say the chief of the state's corrections department, tom clements was shot in cold blood tuesday night as he opened the front door to his home outside denver. authorities have not identified a suspect or motive. but investigators are looking for the driver of a car seen in his neighborhood the night of the murder. jim spellman is live for us in denver. jim, what's the latest in this search? >> reporter: they have these leads but still no suspect. they want to get a description nailed down on the driver of that car. take a look. police scouring for potential leads in the shooting death of the head of colorado's prison system, tom clements, as he answered the front door to his home. >> we're very sensitive to the fact that because of the position he held, there may be a
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number of people who may or may not have a motive to perpetrate a crime like this against him. >> reporter: so far, there are few leads, only a car seen idling nearby at the time of the shooting. >> that vehicle is described as a late '90s model boxy style two-door, something similar perhaps to a '90s model lincoln, although we're not definitively saying it is a lincoln. >> reporter: the same witness who saw the car idling near the crime scene minutes later saw it driving on this road toward interstate 25, near the on-ramp are numerous cameras. police are checking them to see if they can spot the car. colorado's governor signed a controversial gun control legislation requires universal background checks and bans high-capacity magazines. >> as far as we know two completely unrelated subjects and tom clements was somebody who worked in what is often times a cold, dark world with a remarkably open and generous heart. he would have expected us to sign these bills and go forward today.
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it's just the kind of man he was. >> reporter: the governor was less composed earlier in the day when he remembered the man who he had to cajole to take the job. >> our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, lisa, and their two daughters. certainly with all the employees of the department of corrections who tom worked so hard with. >> reporter: investigators are focusing on that prison connection, they tell us they are not ruling anything out at this point. john and christine, back to you. >> jim spellman, thank you, jim. new threats from north korea. zoraida sambolin has that and the rest of the headlines this morning. north korea issuing new threats to the united states, pyo ngyang expressing anger that the u.s. is flying b-52s over south korea, warning that military bases in guam and japan are, quote, within strike iing distance of their weapons. hacking attack on the servers of south korean banks and
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broadcasters originated from an ip address in china. north korea is still a suspect, because they previously used a chinese ip address on the hacking attack of a south korean newspaper. two americans in somalia have prices on their heads. the united states is putting up the bounty. from alabama and mustaffa from wisconsin are said to be part of a group linked to al qaeda. both are believed to have planned attacks on americans. the state department is offering up to $5 million for each man's arrest. less than four hours from now, vice president joe biden will be joining mayor michael bloomberg and families of the newtown massacre in new york. biden spoke about limiting the number of rounds in magazines to ten bullets. >> you can't get the deer in three shots, you shouldn't be hunting. you're an embarrassment.
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putting ten rounds, limiting it to ten rounds makes a difference. makes a difference in terms of how many shots you can get off before someone can intervene. >> meantime, new york governor andrew cuomo tells this morning's "new york times" he is in favor of changing his tough new gun law to allow ten magazines instead of seven because seven magazines are not widely available. gun owners will still only be allowed to load seven bullets at a time. that law is set to take effect april 16th. you know, the heat is on. miami heat has now won 24 straight games. lebron james and company staged an incredible comeback last night, erasing a 27-point third quarter deficit to beat lebron's old team, cleveland cavaliers, 98-95. james had a triple-double, 28 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists. the heat now within nine games
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of the nba record for consecutive wins set by the 1971-72 los angeles lakers who won 33 in a row. what are the chances, berman, that it happens? >> you can't keep falling behind by 27 points and expect to win nine games more in a row. >> they do that on purpose is my theory. but your theory is that -- >> they've gotten so used to winning any way they want, they sort of -- >> no big deal? >> -- they play casually the first three quarters and then they turn it on. i suspect it may catch up with them. >> i suspect you're right. >> thanks, zoraida. we're awaiting a live news conference with president obama and palestinian president mahmoud abbas. we'll bring it to you right when it happens. this as there are no reports this morning that abbas may be ready to make a key concession. say path to a two-state exclusion on the horizon? what's going on with jay leno? rumors that say pretty soon before he gets replace. [ female announcer ] a classic macaroni & cheese from stouffer's
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welcome back in. any second, we'll be hearing from those podiums, people standing behind them in ramallah in the west bank right now, president obama and palestinian leader mahmoud abbas. they've been meeting the last hour or so in ramallah.
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the way this event will work is both leaders, president obama and president milwaukahmoud abbl deliver short remarks and there will be questions. not a lot of questions really, just one question to each leader from each country's press corps. >> the shot you see on the right side of your screen is where we expect to see leaders coming out any moment now for this news conference. the president arrived first in tel aviv to a lot of waiting dignitaries and media who have been waiting for this trip since becoming president. he is coming there in a listening mode, now meeting with mahmoud abbas, in a listening mode. john king just reported to us, look, it's not a stalled peace process between the palestinians and the israelis. it is a dead peace process, he said. >> john king, yesterday we saw so many smiles, so much hand holding practically between president obama and benjamin
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netanyahu. as we are waiting this press conference between president obama and president mahmoud abbas, what are you looking for in terms of how they relate to each other? >> reporter: a couple of key questions. does the president of the united states lay out any timetable for his effort to resume peace process? i expect the answer to that is no. he will say there's more foundation building. what does president abbas say about his willingness to come back to the table? right now he says he will only come back if israel meets certain conditions, chief among them, stop iping settlement construction in the west bank. construction is under way. and that construction has accelerated because president netanyahu was made at the united nations for recognizing, essentially, a palestinian state. that is a poke in the eye of the palestinians. it's also a poke in the eye, by the way, at the president of the united states, who has urged president netanyahu not to do that. it was very interesting yesterday. the president had a couple of opportunities to raise the settlement issue and he did not. i'm told he did raise it privately but he made a
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calculated choice not to pick a fight with president netanyahu. the question is how much did that disappoint the palestinians? president netanyahu and president obama had four frosty years. they had one very warm day yesterday. we'll see where it takes us. not only the body language here but the question of whether president obama not only has the will to come back to the bargaining table but does he have the capacity? he runs the west bank but hamas, a terrorist organization in the united states and much of the world, runs gaza. how does the president accept that position? would he accept palestine back at the table with hamas? that's a tough question. >> our thanks to john king in israel. we just got an update of the timing of this news conference. we expect it now to start ten minutes from now. we'll bring it to you the minute it happens, expecting president obama and the palestinian leader mahmoud abbas.
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meantime just ahead, surprising statement on same-sex marriage from the american academy of pediatrics. stay with us. (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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welcome back to "starting point." no plea deal for major nidal hasan, charged with killing 13 people at the ft. hood military base. he was willing to plead guilty under certain conditions, but the court-martial judge rejected those. the american academy of pediatrics is coming out in support of same-sex marriage.
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the academy announced its support in a ten-page report. it studied scientific literature from the past four years and found that children's well-being is affected much more by the strength of family relationships than by the parents' sexual orientation. nbc says it is building a new studio in new york for jimmy fallon, but that is all they're saying. at least for now. meantime, "the new york times" is reporting fallon will replace leno as "the tonight show" host. the show will return to new york. the only thing not set in stone is nbc's timetable for the changes. jimmy fallon addressed the news in his monologue last night. >> before we get started i have to talk about the rumors that came out today which says i'll be moving up to 11:30 or as my parents call it, still too late. actually, the rumors are true. nbc is turning "the tonight show" into a diving competition. so exciting. >> fallon was making reference to the new celebrity reality
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show "splash," which drew 9 million viewers for its premi e premiere. let the rumor mill swirl. >> it is swirling. the intrigue is certainly there. >> thanks, zoraida. we're waiting a press conference with president obama and plialestinian president mahmoud abbas. video you don't want to miss. a man caught at a basketball game, refusing to share his ice cream with his girlfriend. at least it was his girlfriend. uh-oh. if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts... well muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour one on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour three. zyrtec®. love the air.
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you're looking at live pictures from ramallah where, any minute from now, we are expecting a news conference from president obama and the palestinian leader mahmoud abbas. we will bring that to you the minute it happens. meantime, we're joined by model and social activist and rising mega star, cameron russell.
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also richard socarides, now a writer for new richard, you were in the white house during the clinton years. there seemed to be a lot of progress between israel and the palestinians in terms of peace. not nearly the progress we're seeing now in the president obama administration. >> this is something that president clinton really focused on. a lot of progress was made. we saw in president obama's first term a reluctance to dive into this. maybe because he couldn't find a solution. he left most of this to secretary of state hillary clinton. now i think this trip is to sort of shore up and do some of the things he couldn't get done in that first term and show israel we are really there for him. it's been a successful trip so far for him. >> you have spent a lot of time in the region. what's the significance of john kerry being there before the president and staying there after the president leaves. >> i think it shows this is more
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than just a photo-op. the white house is trying to downplay expectations but at the same time, they're laying the groundwork for greater involvement and more discussions. we will see if the secretary of state is able to achieve anything after the president leaves. let me ask you this. when we were in break, you expressed skepticism about this kind of process. not the sort of thing you want to hear from america's youth. you're not hopeful at all today. >> i don't know that i'm not hopeful but it seems it's all for show right now. not committing to anything. >> you're building goodwill. news conferences and public proclamations and you go places, see things with the cameras but building on that goodwill is what you draw on with peace negotiations down the road. >> here we go. president obama and president mahmoud abbas.
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>> translator: in the name of god, the merciful, the compassionate, president barack obama, i wish to warmly welcome you and the accompanying delegation in palestine. mr. president, during your visit to our country, you will meet people proud of the history, heritage, culture and symbols. a young, creative and entrepreneurial people who have made the miracle and arose and continue the path of the ancestors extending since the ancient times over this land, their land. a people who adhere to the rights and are in harmony and keep abreast with the realities of the age, its language and
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methods. a people who live an exemplary model despite all hardships and hurdles. the people of palestine, mr. president, who receive you today as entire to obtain simple rights. the right to freedom, independence and peace and look forward to that day to come quickly in which they exercise normal and natural life over the land of the state of palestine, the independent state of palestine along the borders of the 4th of june, 1967 with jerusalem, the lady of the cities as its capital alongside the state of israel. we, mr. president, believe that peace is necessary and inevitable. and we also believe that it is
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possible. we believe that peacemaking and as much as it requires courage also requires an expression of good faith, a recognition of people's rights, respectful of the other. and the dissemination. certainly piece shall not be made through violence, occupation, wars, settlements, arrests, siege and denial of refugee rights. we are extremely in pleasure to receive you today in our country. our people share with american people and with you, personally, the belief in the values and principles of freedom, equality,
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justice and respect for human rights. and we together, with the peoples of the world, are partners in the pursuit to achieve a just peace that ends occupation and war and achieves security, stability and prosperity to all the peoples of our region. today, ladies and gentlemen, we have conducted a good and useful round of talks with his excellency, president obama. it was an opportunity to focus on our side, on the risks and the to present on this two-state solution and over the need. i assert, mr. president, that palestine has taken long and additional steps for the sake of making peace. i hereby assert again that we
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are ready to implement all our commitments and obligations and to respect the signed agreements and international resolutions in order to provide for the requirements of launching the peace process and achieving the two-state solution, palestinian a and israel. we are also serious at ending the division and achieve the palestinian reconciliation, which constitutes an additional source of power for us to continue our march towards making peace, security and stability in the region. the united states, represented by his excellency, president obama and mr. john kerry shall intensify its efforts to remove the obstacles ahead of the efforts to achieve a just peace, which the peoples of the region have long awaited. here, i wish to thank the
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president for his continuous confirmation of the u.s. commitment to provide support to the palestinian people and to thank him and his administration for the support that has been provided during the past years, various forms of support to the palestinian treasury to development projects. mr. president, once again, you are welcome in palestine. thank you. >> thank you, president abbas, for your generous words and welcoming me to ramallah. i was last year five years ago and it's a pleasure to be back, to see the progress that's happened since my last visit, but also to bear witness to the enduring challenges to peace and
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security that so many palestinians seek. i've returned to the west bank because the united states is deeply committed to the creation of an independent and sovereign state of palestine. the palestinian people deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it. palestinians deserve to move and travel freely and to feel secure in their communities. by people everywhere, palestinians deserve a future of hope, that their rights will be respected, that tomorrow will be better than today and that they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity. put simply, palestinians deserve a state of their own. i want to commend president abbas and his prime minister for the progress they've made in building the institutions of a
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palestinian state. the united states is a proud partner in these efforts, as the single largest donor of assistance that improves the lives of palestinians, both in the west bank and gaza. as your partner, we salute your achievements and we mourn your losses. we offer condolences, in particular, over the loss of your fellow palestinians last weekend in the tragic accident in swrorjordan. ramallah is a very different city than the one i visited five years ago, new businesses, new construction, new start-ups, including many technology connecting the palestinians. more transparent, new efforts to combat corruption so entrepreneurs in development can expand. palestinian security forces are stronger and more professional, serving communities like bethlehem where president obama and i will visit the church of
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the nativity tomorrow. many of this has been under extremely challenging circumstances. i want to pay tribute to president abbas for their tenacity and commitment for building institutions on which lasting peace and security would depend. i would point out all this stands in stark contrast to the misery and depression so many palestinians continue to confront in gaza. because hamas refuses to renounce violence, because hamas cares more about enforcing its own rigid dogmas than allowing palestinians to live freely and because, too often, it focuses on tearing israel down rather than building palestine up. we saw the continuing threat from gaza again overnight with the rockets that targeted
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sderot. we condemn this violation of the important cease fire, a violation that hamas has a responsibility to prevent. here in the west bank, i realize that this continues to be a difficult time for the palestinian authority financially. so i'm pleased that in recent weeks the united states has been able to provide additional assistance to help the palestinian authority bolster its finances. projects through u.s. aid, we consider these to be investments in the future palestinian state, investments in peace, which is in all of our interests. more broadly, in our discussions today, i reaffirm to president abbas that the united states remains committed to realizing the vision of two states, which are in the interests of the palestinian people and also in the national security interests of israel, united states and the
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world. we seek an independent, viable and contiguous state along the jewish state of israel. two nations enjoying self determination, security and peace. as i've said many times, the only way to achieve that goal is through direct negotiations. there is no short cut to a sustainable solution. in our discussion with president abbas, i heard him speak out about the difficult issues that could not be ignored. among them, problems caused by continued settlement activity. the plight of palestinian prisoners and holy sites in inju jerusalem. i understand the status quo isn't really a status quo because the situation on the ground continues to evolve in a direction that make it is harder
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to reach a two-state solution. i know the palestinian people are deeply frustrated. so what are my main messages today? the same message i give in israel. we cannot give up. we cannot give up on the search for peace, no matter how hard it is. as i said with prime minister netanyahu yesterday, we will continue to look for steps that both israelis and palestinians can take to build the trust and the confidence upon which lasting peace will depend. i very much appreciate hearing president abbas' ideas on what those steps could be. i want both sides to know as difficult as the current situation is, my administration is committed to doing our part. secretary of state john kerry intends to spend significant time, effort and energy in trying to bring about a closing of the gap between the parties.
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we cannot give up on the search for peace. too much is at stake. and -- if we're going to succeed, part of what we're going to do is to get out of some of the formulas and habits that have abrupted progress for so long. those both sides will have to think anew. those of us in the united states will have to think anew. i'm confident we can arrive at our destination to advance the situation of two nations, two neighbors at peace, israel and palesti palestine. if given the chance, one thing i'm very certain of, palestinians have the talent, drive and the courage to succeed in their own state. i think of the villages that hold peaceful protests because they understand the moral force of nonviolence. the importance that palestinian
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families place on education. i think of the entrepreneurs determined to create something new, like the young palestinian woman i met at the entrepreneurship summit that i hosted who wants to build recreational centers for palestinian youth. i think of the aspirations that so many young plichs have for their future, which is why i'm looking forward to visiting with some of them right after we conclude this press conference. that's why we can't give up. because of young palestinians and young israelis who deserve a better future than one that is continually defined by conflict. whenever i meet these young people, whether they are palestinian or israeli, i'm reminded of my own daughters and i know what hopes and aspirati n aspirations i have for them. those of us in the united states
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understand that change takes time, but it is also possible. because there was a time when my daughters could not expect to have the same opportunities in their own country as somebody else's daughters. what's true in the united states can be true here as well. we can make those changes, but we're going to have to be determi determined. we're going to have to have courage. we're going to have to be willing to break out of the old habits, the old arguments to reach for that new place, that new world. and i want all the people here and throughout the region to know that you will have the president of the united states and an administration that is committed to achieving that goal. thank you very much. >> thank you, president obama. thank you, president abbas. we will now open the floor to questions. we will take two questions.
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first question, reuters. >> thanks. mr. president, after you meet the leaders from both sides, is there any chance to resume these talks as soon as possible? and do you think that a two-state solution is still valid, expanding settlements continue going on? my last question, did you raise the activity with president netanyahu when you met with him? thanks. >> based on the conversations i've had with prime minister netanyahu and president abbas, i do think the possibility continues to exist for a two-state solution. i continue to believe it is our best and, indeed in some ways, our only chance to achieve the kinds of peaceful resolution of old conflicts but also the opening up of new opportunities for peoples on both sides to
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thrive, to succeed for both israel and a state of palestinian to be incorporated into the global economy. one of the striking things, one of the ironies of this conflict is that both the israeli people and the palestinian people are extremely entrepreneurial. they have a keen business sense. they could be hugely successful in helping to lift up the economy of the region as a whole. i was with president peres this morning before i came here, looking athe a high-tech exhibi taking place in jerusalem. there's a u.s. company cisco is
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set i setting up hiring young engineers because they were so qualified, so talented and there was a great hunger for those kind of skills. imagine if you have a strong, independent state that's peaceful. all the talent that currently is being untapped could be they could be creating jobs, businesses, prosperity throughout this area. so i absolutely believe that it is still possible. but i think is very difficult. it's difficult because of all sorts of political constraints on both sides. i think it's difficult, frankly, because sometimes even though we know what compromises have to be made in order to achieve these, it's hard to admit those compromises need to be made. because people want to cling on to their old positions and want to have 10 % of what they want or 95% of what they want, instead of making the necessary
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compromises and as a politician, i can say it's hard for political leaders to get too far ahead of constituents. that's true of benjamin netanyahu and president abbas as well. if we can get direct negotiations started again, i believe the shape of a potential deal is there. and if both sides can make that leap together, not only do i believe israeli people and palestinian people would ultimately support it in huge numbers, but i also think that the world and the region would cheer. there would be some who would be upset, because they benefit from
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the current conflict. they like the status quo, the arrangement as it is. but i think that the majority is out there who right now don't feel helpful, but still would strongly support both palestinian and israeli leadership that made the necessary effort and compromises. now, one of the challenges, continued settlement activity in the west bank area. and i am clear with prime minister netanyahu and other israeli leadership. it has been the united states policy, not just for my administration, but for all preceding administrations, we don't consider settlement activity to be constructive, to
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be appropriate, to be something that can advance the cause of peace. i don't think there is any confusion in terms of what our position is. i will say with respect to israel, the politics are complex and i recognize that's not an issue that will be solved immediately, not solved overnight. on the other hand, what i -- i shared with president abbas and i will share with palestinian people is that if the expectation is that we can only have direct negotiations, when everything is settled ahead of time. then there is no point for negotiation. it's important to work through this process, even if there are
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concerns on both sides. israelis have concerns about rockets flying into their city last night. and it would be easy for them to say this is why we can't have peace, because we can't afford to have our kids sleeping in bed and suddenly a rocket comes through the roof. my argument, even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement, may be engaging in activities with the other side considers to be a breach, we have to push through those things to try to get to an agreement, because if we get an agreement, then it will be very clear what the nature of the agreement is, there will be a sovereign palestinian state, a sovereign jewish state of israel and these two states i think
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will be able to deal with each other the same way all two states do. the united states and canada have once in a while. and i think we can -- we can keep pushing through with these problems. and make sure we don't use them as an excuse not to do anything. >> questions from the u.s. delegation and then the last questions. major garrett of cbs. >> mr. president obama. on behalf of my colleagues, i want to get more specific on the questions of settlement and the overall peace process. when you started your administration, called for a halt to settlement activity. that held for a while and dissipated and the settlement activity, your administration
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put out a statement. what would you say here in ramallah, that those entrepreneurial palestinians who believe have you been equivocal or nonresponsive. and to you, president abbas, do you believe it's necessary for the peace process to start with a declaration from the israeli government that it will slow down or stop entirely the settlement activities? broadly on the peace process itself, if you talk about historically, the theory has been smog agreed to until everything is agreed to. you, president obama and president abbas, if things are agreed to, they shall build confidence on both sides and build the peace process? thank you. >> major, i think i answered the question previously about settlement. you mentioned e-1 in particular. i think that is a an example of
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a -- at least a public statement by the israeli government that would be very difficult to square with a two-state solution. said that to president netanyahu. i don't think that's a secret. with respect to whether there is a requirement or freeze or moratorium, you will -- i want to repeat what i just said earlier which is if the only way to even begin the conversation is that we get everything right, at the outset, or at least each party is constantly negotiating about what is required to get into talks in the first place, we will never get to the broader issue which is how do you actually structure a state of
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palestine that is sovereign and provides palestinian people dignity? and how do you provide israel confidence about its security? which are the core issues. the core issue right now, how do we get sovereignty for the palestinian people and how do we get security for the israeli people? that's the essence of this negotiation and that's not to say settlements are not important. it is to say that if we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved. i don't want to put the cart before the horse. i want to make sure we are getting to the core issues and the substance. understanding that both sides should be doing what they can to build confidence, rebuild a sense of trust and that's where hopefully the u.s. government can be helpful.
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on your last point. i think that part i my goal during this trip has been to hear from president abbas and prime minister netanyahu, about what they would need, how they would see a potential task, how it would be structured. i think it's premature for me to give you an answer. the question just posed is a good one, legitimate one. but i'm still hearing from them, and me like many others, we're going to go back, look at both sides and make a determination as to what has the best prospects for success. i will say this. i think that incremental steps
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have served to delay and put off some of the more fundamental issues. rather than incremental steps help shame what a final settlement might look like. probably not going to be the best approach. not clear that that would, in fact, build trust. if you have a situation where it looks like the incremental steps replaced the broader vision. as opposed to incremental steps in pursuit of a broader vision, then i think what you end up getting is four more years, ten more years, 20 more years, of conflict and tension, on which both sides are, you know, testing the boundaries of those incremental agreements. whereas if we can get a broad
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based agreement that assures palestinians they have a stake and have you a comprehensive approach that israel has the kind of security they need, you know, the likelihood of that deal holding and ultimately the sense of trust that comes from people to people relations, not just governmental relations, that's much more likely to hold. >> are y >> you are watching a news conference in the west bank. president obama and mahmoud abbas. there are questions, primarily of president obama, about the status of possible future discussions between israelis and
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the palestinians. the president speaking in very careful, diplomatic terms, talks about the israeli settlements in the west bank. he says the united states doesn't consider continued settlement activity to be constructive or appropriate, but he says he doesn't think it's everything that both sides want to happen has to by perfect before both sides get to negotiating. >> that's absolutely right it will be a hard process, and you used the word difficult several times. no question, this is a starting point. the president making it clear it's not easy. but the president saying that the palestinians deserve a state of their own. they compared the two places to the united states and canada at one point. a bit of a joke, but clearly a lot of difficult work before that is even possible. i want to bring in new york republican congressman peter king. former chair of the house homeland security committee. what do you hear from the president in terms of laying the
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ground work for potential peace ahead? >> first of all, when the president is overseas, he represents all meshes. so far, his trip has been successful. important for him to go there. the support among israelis, some concern about him over the last several years, over the president's policies. i think his meetings with prime minister netanyahu were very positive. in fact, i get the impression yesterday that he pretty much says that netanyahu has the operating for independent action on iran. as far as the statement today, it's very significant he singles out and says talks have to go forward and everything can't be resolved, otherwise there is no purpose of negotiations. if you have everything resolved beforehand many he's laying the ground work. i wish he could have done it earlier, but the fact is it's
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done. so far a very successful trip and hopefully secretary terry can move this forward now. >> he placed the blame of misery of palestinians in gaza because of hamas. he talked about unhappiness among palestinians among increasing jewish settlements in palestinian territories. he's not playing favorites here in any way? >> i think sometimes we should play favorites. not an equivalency between israelis and palestinians. israel is our closest ally in the middle east. we want to work with palestinians and bring about peace. i don that doesn't mean we can't work to bring peace between of two of them. and having said that i think the president has shown on the issue of settlement, he thinks any ultimate resolution has involved
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israel stopping the settlements and the president made that clear. he also supports a two-state solution. it was balanced. but, again, keep in mind, israel is our ally. important to keep in mind. >> good point. >> the president did condemn the overnight rocket attacks from gaza and two rockets apparently hit a southern town. the president did condemn those attacks. i want to bring in george mitchell, former senator, and special envoy to the middle east. the president seemed to lay down parameters for how the sides might get back to the table. he said discussions were possible, but would be difficult, but then continued to say that he hoped both sides don't want to have all issues settled before they sit down. >> that's been a consistent position by the united states. we have for many decades opposed settlement construction.
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every american president has taken that position, but at the same time, have encouraged negotiations to resolve that issue along with all of the others. i think the president was strong and consistent in that. that's the only way this will ever get done. when both sides recognize that although it will be painful politically for each of them to agree to a resolution that's acceptable. it will be far more painful for both of them if they don't agree and conflict continues. so far, the president's visit is a good one. >> senator, you poured your heart and soul into finding a possible solution. did you hear anything today or yesterday which makes you hopeful that any kind of progress has been made? >> i think there is a growing recognition on both sides, they have to do something to move this process forward.
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the they're influenced by the events in the region. it's a mistake to think of this conflict in isolation or representing the only problem in the region. there are several intersecting conflicts and issues, all of which affect each other. iran, the sunni shiia split, what's happened in iran and other parts left on, both sides recognize if they can resolve this issue it would be helpful in moving toward the others, in particular with the conflict with iran, and i think if they could somehow resolve a nonmilitarized palestine, which palestinians will accept, then israel would be more free to try to resolve their differences and achieve normalization with the gulf arab states. because they share the common
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faux of foe of iran. >> congressman, your thoughts on that very point? >> senator mitchell, i saw the great work he did in northern ireland. and he's right. more than just israel and palestinians involved. the middle east, syria, iran, have y you have the presence of al qaeda, libya. the whole region is really many, many crises that have to be addressed and there can be shifting alliances here. the arab gulf state opposed to iran getting a nuclear weapon, and we have to find a way to coordinate our efforts together and again, if the president can move forward, the israelis and palestinians that could be a tremendous diplomat ic accomplishment for the united states. >> thank you so much for joining us. we'll be watching what goes on in the region over the next several hours. meantime, north korea this
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morning, zoraida sambolin has the rest of today's top stories. >> good morning. more tough talk from north korea. upset that the u.s. is flying b-52s over south korea, pyongyang is issuing a warning that american forces are within striking distance of weapons. separately, in seoul, a major hacking attack of banks and broadcasters can be traced to an ip address in china north korea is the prime suspect because of previous attacks on a south korean newspaper was also traced to an ip address in china. two americans in somalia has prices on their heads and the united states is putting up the money. the men are said to be part of a group linked to al qaeda. and both are believed to have been offered up to $5 million for each man's arrest.
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the hunt for a killer in colorado. the chief of the corrections department was gunned down tuesday night as he answered the front door of his home. authorities have not identified a suspect or motive. but investigators are looking for the driver of a car seen in clements' neighborhood the night of the murder. do we know anything new? >> reporter: the second full day of this investigation. but no description of the driver of that car. take a look. police scouring for potential leads in the head of corrections system as he answered the door of his home. >> we're very subject to the position that he held, there could be a number of people that may or may not have had a motive. >> so far, few leads. only a car seen idling nearby. >> that vehicle described as a late '90s model, boxy style two
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door, something similar perhaps to a '90s model lincoln, but we're not definitively saying it was a lincoln. >> reporter: the same witness who saw the car idling saw it driving toward the on-ramp to the interstate. there are cameras that are checking to see if they spotted the car. colorado's governor signed controversial gun control legislation that requires universal background checks and bans high capacity magazines. >> two completely unrelated subjects and somebody who works in a what is oftentimes a remarkably cold, dark world, with a generous heart. he would have expected us to go forward with this. >> reporter: he was less controllcontrol ed later in the day. >> our thoughts and prayers with
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his wife lisa and their daughters, certainly with all of the employees of the department of corrections who tom worked so hard with. >> reporter: with no suspect and no motive, authorities are taking no chances. they have increased security on all officials across colorado. >> coming up, we'll look at the latest from the undersheriff of the county where tom clements was killed. a mixed verdict at the corruption trial of the former mayor and several former city council members in bell, california. a jury found oscar hernandez and four other politicians guilty of looting the city's treasury. they were acquitted on other counts and still more charges are pending. one former bell council member was exonerated. the alleged mastermind scheme faces a separate corruption trial. 24 and counting, it is for the miami heat, after an epic comeback to keep this crazy streak alive, lebron james and
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company, down 27 points in the third quarter, came back to beat lebron's old team, the cleveland cavaliers, 98-95. the heat is within nine games of the nba record for consecutive wins set by the 1971-72 lakers who won 33 in a row. good luck, kind of. >> hell has no fury like a woman denied mint chocolate chip. thanks to the internet. we have seen his mistake. her expressions pretty much speak for her. finally wised up, let her have some. i guess they are still together. >> i think that was a wise move. >> i know that's a wise move. are you kidding me? he didn't expect. >> you know how much those cones cost at that game? have you gone to the snack counter? >> it looks like they were joking. >> she didn't look like she was
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joking. >> i think that is very real. >> $10 ice cream. coming up, could pope francis change the catholic church? and advice from this high powered ceo, marry an older man. you don't want to miss this story, coming up next. a guide to good dipping.
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information about who the suspect may have been. >> that is correct. we are looking at all potential tips, leads, threats that mr. clements may have had. restgation is wide open at this point. >> do we know if there were threats? he had such a high-profile job. is that what it's related to? >> we are looking at that, assessing any potential threats. are you correct. he a very high-profile position, responsible for department of corrections, a very large prison system and so, therefore, again, we will look at any potential threats he may have had from anybody in the prison system. >> what about the shooting itself? any signs this looked like a professional hit? again, specific information on whether it's a professional hit or not.
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obviously it's a shooting at his home, so it certainly is a potential. but, again, we don't have any specific information that would lead to us that. >> tell us about the car that was idling in the area. what are you doing to look at surveillance videos or other leads to try to learn more about that car? >> we are continuing to look for that car. we have had now several neighbors in the area who stated they had seen a vehicle right around the time, 8:30 p.m., on the 19th, right around when mr. clements was shot. it was described as maybe a lincoln, or cadillac two-door. the car seen idling in the area unoccupied. later occupied by what one of the neighbors believe was a male. no specific information concerning the driver of the car. several neighbors have said, yes, they believe they saw a car
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in the area. saw a car speeding away on that particular street near his residence, so, again, we are looking at any support information, any suspect vehicles, looking at a variety of databases to determine what type of vehicle that may have been. >> a complete mystery at this point. a grieving family and a lot of coworkers very, very concerned. paula pressley, thank you so much. undersheriff to el paso county in colorado. >> thank you. 19 minutes after the hour. could this signal a big change in the catholic church? no signs pope francis may not be opposed to gay civil unions? can't miss video. tina fey reprises her role as sarah palin. eal cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family.
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welcome back, everyone. trending this morning, tina fey recalling sarah palin on "inside the actors studio." >> you know, jimmy, i believe that if everybody had guns, then there would be fewer guns in the stores. >> same-sex marriage what is your view on that? >> well, the bible says it's gross. >> no same-sex marriage? >> marriage is meant for people who wear different kinds of swim suits. >> also trending, xerox's ceo dishing out advice for young women in corporate america.
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she is the first african-american woman to run a fortune 500 company. the first order of business is to find a good older husband. i think she was half joking. an older man has gone through the "growing up stuff" and in her position, it allowed her to do a lot of good work at the office while her husband was helping with the two kids. redefine the work/life balance. a perfect balance is not possible all the time. and recommends being selfish sometimes and checking out to put your personal needs first and don't take guilt trips. it's okay to miss your kids' soccer games once in a while and don't take life too seriously. facebook's sheryl sandberg said the most important career advice she could give someone, is pick the right life partner. one that will help you in life and that's the best career advice you can get. >> is that life partner best if it's a guy 20 years older than you? that seems like a lot. >> if you are very focused on your career, it's always good to marry an older person, because
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they will make fewer demands on you. >> the most important thing is that work/life balance is a misnomer. sometimes 80/20, sometimes 70/30. you have to pick up the slack. >> i can't believe you will make me be the romantic one. i think it's important to marry someone you love and you are in love with and the rest of the stuff is a little ridiculous to me. i'm mad at all of you for being the romantic one. >> if you had more equality in your marriage, would you have a better sex life. >> mrs. berman, john loves you. that's the take dwaway. >> fact check that. and a passionate plea to a 12-year-old about same-sex marriage and the letter he sent to chief justice john roberts, when "starting point" returns. i know what you've heard -- iihs top safety pick for $159 a month --
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before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any conditions, such as kidney, liver or bleeding problems. ready to change your routine? ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit welcome back to "starting point." president obama wrapping up talks and set to leave the west bank in a little bit. the second leg of his middle east trip. >> here is how the meeting was characterized with the palestinian leader. >> i've returned to the west bank, the united states is deeply committed to the creation of an independent and sovereign
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state of palestine. the palestinian people deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it. they deserve to move and travel freely and feel secure in their community. >> palestinians deserve a state of their own. the president returning to jerusalem later where he's guest of honor at a state dinner hosted by shimon peres. >> and we have the rest of the day's top stories with zoraida sambolin. the syrian government and another group saying that each used chemical weapons some of far there, is no evidence that chemical weapons were used. and in just a few hours, vice president joe bide eleven join mayor michael bloomberg and families affected by the newtown school massacre in a news conference at new york city hall and will call for passage of new federal gun laws, so far are really struggling for support in
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congress. biden spoke last night on national public radio about limiting the number of rounds in magazines to 10 bullets. >> if you can't get the deer in three shots, you shouldn't be hunting. limiting it to ten rounds makes a difference. a different in terms of how many shots you can get off before someone can intervene. >> meantime, new york governor andrew cuomo telling this morning's "new york times," he's in favor of changing the gun laws from seven rounds to ten. because seven-round magazines are not widely available. that law set to take place april 15th. two high school football players formally charged with sexual assaulting 13-year-old girls and the victims are taunted and harassed online. edgar gonzalez and johan toraveo
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have been charged and suspended from school. they are cooperating fully with police. >> we want to assure our school community that we are very concerned about safety and wellness of all of our students and that all possible steps are being taken to keep our students safe in school. >> and the charges in this case, just a few days after two high school football players in steubenville convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. a good chance we'll narrowly avoid a government shutdown with days to spare. the house expected to vote on a short-term budget today, that would keep the government funded beyond march 27th. the blame for the budget battle and automatic across the board cuts on president obama's shoulders. this is what he told jake tapper yesterday on "the lead." >> i told my colleagues in the house the is he quest lever stay in effect until there is an
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agreement that will include cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget over the next ten years. it will bring more revenue in than any year in the history and we'll have a trillion dollar deficit. spending is a problem. >> the senate passed a six-month budget measure yesterday that keeps most cuts in place. congress is now involved in the controversy over the washington redskins team name. a bipartisan bill which is introduced yesterday by ten lawmakers boo cancel the nfl team's trademark of the name redskins. this at the same time the federal court considers a petition by a group of knave americans to cancel the trademark. the redskins brand is not meant to offend, but apparently it does. >> i can't remember a time in my life where people haven't been discussing and debating team names like the redskins. but this is the first time i
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recall someone taking a business angle, talking about the trademark issue. >> it's offensive to a lot of people. think at some point they will have to change it. >> it's different than the fighting illini. this was a derogatory word in certain point in american history. it's a little bit different than -- iowa, illinois, states named after indian tribes, football teams, different. >> redskins, such an iconic name already. >> 33 minutes after the hour. now an intriguing look at the possibility of compromise on same-sex marriage and the catholic church. >> in argentina's bitter same-sex marriage, then archbishop bergoglio, now pope francis, called the gay marriage bill a destructive attack on god's plan in argentina. that was publicly. but privately, the stance may have been quite different. sheer rafael romo. >> reporter: a cordial vatican
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meeting between the president of argentina and the new pope, exchanging gifts. their get together monday was in sharp contrast of the war of words between the two leaders less than three years ago. in mid 2010, argentina polarized over a same same-sex marriage bill who called the church's actions, attitudes reminiscent of med evidenceal times and the inquisition and then the bill was dubbed a destructive attack on god's plan. >> translator: the church has asked catholics to oppose this, and that's exactly what i'm doing as a catholic. >> reporter: some say the future pontiff was much more conciliatory than he appeared. a gay rights activist and former theology professor near the argentine capital says bergoglio told him in private, he favored
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gay rights and went as far as saying he didn't oppose gay civil unions. >> translator: he told me that he understand that homosexual people should have their rights protected in society. he also said he believed that argentina was not ready for a gay marriage law, but said he would favor a law granting civil unions. >> reporter: he said the meeting happened after he sent this letter on behalf of gay catholics supporting the same-sex marriage bill. "the new york times" reported wednesday at a private meeting of bishops, also in 2010, cardinal bergoglio advocated that the church support civil unions for gay couples. the roman catholic church could neither confirm nor deny the report at this point. while pope francis may have expressed such view while he was a cardinal, he should be given time to develop policy position as pontiff. >> rafael romo, cnn atlanta.
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>> let's bring in cnn contributor, father edward beck. you heard what he said in that piece. it looks as though in bun oss aries maya buenos aries there was a softer position. how will this indicate how he might lead in rome? >> 2010, at a bishop's meeting, head of the conference. and same-sex marriage looks like it will pass in argentina. as a man of compromise, he said i think we should come out and support same-sex unions. it would get us out of having to support same-sex marriage. they voted him down. he was head of the conference. first time in six years that the bishops went against something he was proposing. this is a man of moderation, of compromise and someone who is lobbying for basic human rights.
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>> you just written a piece and advocating for gay rights. >> no one is denying that he did this, he may be a clever politician, but the truth is, when this issue was before the government, he very aggressively opposed equality and opposed equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians in argentina, so if -- it may say that he is a better politician and he may be someone who is open to compromise. may be a good sign. the truth is, on the issue publicly, he was not where catholics are. >> why politician? why not someone champion human rights not able to change the church's stance on gay marriage, because marriage between a man and woman is the church's position. open to pro creation. pro creation has to be part of
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it. why politician and say if we can't do that, i want equal human rights for everyone? he's been shown to do that with the poor and everyone else, why not gay people? >> i think if he, in fact, comes a champion of human rights that would be fantastic and terrific. >> he already is. >> well, on this issue. the problem with the church's teaching is that they see -- the catholic church historically sees gay meaning as arriage as s institution. but marriage is a civil law issue. nothing to do with religion and so that's where we have the fundamental disagreement. >> which may be part of the problem. i think everybody should be able to be married civilly perhaps, but only some then have a religious ceremony. >> we'll take that. that's all we want. >> religious has a connotation.
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that's the distinction. >> if the catholic church says they support full civil rights, equal rights for same-sex partners, but they don't want it called marriage in the church, we'd take it. that would be fantastic. >> does it seem like that is exactly what he was doing? >> he hasn't said that publicly. perhaps said it privately. >> in the bishops conference meeting, he said it. >> it's a different prism that they are doing everything through. the prism through the archbishop of buenos aires is different than pope. >> and smaller group of people than the 1.2 billion throughout the world. >> i think we ultimately believe in separation of church and state and equal rights. i don't want a religious leader
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denying rights to people. >> i don't want to suggest that somehow i'm negative on it. if the new pope is willing to be a compromiser on this and try to find some common ground, u.s. a very positive development. >> we'll leave it right there. thanks, guys. and listen to what the pope says in the coming days and weeks ahead. coming up, new rumors is out that jay leno is out at the "tonight show" and perhaps soon. stay with us.
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welcome back to "starting point." a couple of top stories. a jury in ohio is representing the death penalty for craigslist killer richard beasley. he killed three men who offered a bogus ad for work on a cattle farm in 20111. a sentence will be held down next weeks. nbc says it's building a new studio in new york for jimmy fallon. all they are saying, at least for now. "the new york times" reports fallon will replace leno as "tonight" show host and the show will return to new york. the "times" says that the only thing not set in stone is the timetable for all of these changes. john and christie. a true story of triumph over tragedy. masked men poured gas lone on a 5-year-old iraqi boy nameduo unf
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and lit it on fire. we have this in today's human factor. >> this is the classroom. i sit in that seat over there. >> amazing to me what a typical american 10-year-old kid yousef has become. >> molecules move faster. >> this was yousef, five years old at the time. attacked by masked men in front of his home in baghdad. they poured gasoline on his face and then set him on fire. what's the first thing you remember about all of that? >> i just remember like the doctor getting a sponge. and i was like, oh. >> in iraq? >> yeah. >> and they had a sponge. >> i think they like scratching on me or something. >> they were trying to take off some of the burned skin? >> yeah. >> yousef's parents were desperate to see their boy smile
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again, so months after the attack, they came to the united states with the single suitcase. their living expenses and their medical expenses, all of it, was paid for by the kindness of strangers. and we have followed their journey since 2007. uous he has had 19 surgeries, a total of 61 procedures to correct the burn damage. yousef's father doesn't want to show his face for fear of retaliation. do you tell people what happened? >> i tell them when they ask. sometimes it bothers me when they don't ask, but they are just looking. >> it don't bother yousef. he's a happy kid, smart, confident. his parents say he never complains, never asks about the scars on his face. >> i can see that there is like one, two, three spaces.
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>> yousef's parents say all of this still feels like a dream. >> a hard time making friends at all? >> no, it's like -- whenever a new kid comes, the next day, we're just friends. >> is that right? >> yeah. >> is anybody ever mean to you? >> no. >> once victims, now a family full of strength. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, couldn't ing cunoyaga park, california. >> you can reach his family family @yousiffiraqi. and next, we have a passionate plea from a 12-year-old. a letter wrote to supreme court justice john roberts. i'm a conservative investor.
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takes up proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriage in california. both sides coming out in full force right now, including one very passionate 12-year-old boy. >> daniel and his 8-year-old sister were adopted by two gay
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dads. when he heard chief justice roberts is the father of two adopted children, he wrote him a letter, urging him to support same-sex marriage. listen to daniel read part of the letter. >> you and i both know that family is deeper than blood. i was lucky to be adopted by two guys that i can call both dad. they give us so much love. my dad jay works as a deputy sheriff and my dad ryan stays home and takes care of me and my sister. my dads really encourage me to excel in life. >> and daniel and ryan join us now. in the letter to justice roberts about your family, you explain your medical condition, a genetic disorder that affects the left side of your body. you say you were unadoptable. you thought you were unadoptable because of that condition until your two fathers came along.
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tell me about that. >> i was living in a foster home before, and they always told me i was considered unadoptable, and they weren't the greatest foster home. so, like that period in my life, i was always told that i was considered unadoptable because of my golden har. >> because you and your sister are adopted, you say that is one reason why you feel like maybe the chief justice, maybe he'll read your letter. maybe he'll listen to you. you are trying to make a point that your families are remarkably similar. tell me about that. >> well, like i said in my letter, a lot of people have a lot of different meanings to marriage and having a family. some people believe you have to have the same blood to be a family. me and him both know that no matter if you are blood related, family is people who love and
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take care of you. >> richard socaredes, i just want to say thank you for your courage. the stories about how these issues affect people in real life amake this real. if chief justice roberts were watching now, what would you say to him? >> i would say to him, i hope he makes the right decision and sees our family like any other. >> dad, let me ask you quickly, you know, you are not a stranger to youtube. you guys, you sit down together, and say hi, youtube and talk about what it's like to be in a family with two dads, with two kids, what your family is like. how -- i mean, obviously daniel is not very camera shy. that's great. he has great public speaking skills. it will help him in his future career, i think he wants to be a chef. tell us about putting your family out there for the world to see. there can be down sides. people are saying you are
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showing what it's like to be your family. others say maybe kids shouldn't be in the spotlight. >> we have heard both of those arguments. what people don't understand, though, is how much is at risk for us as a family. because we began this because of prop 8, and we were very lucky during that time to have your marriage grandfathered in and not have it annulled when they upheld prop 8 at the california supreme court. now that we're at the federal supreme court, that's really at risk again for us. so what we had hoped to do through your youtube channel at gay family values was to show that laws like this affect families like ours in real ways. they are not an abstract concept. for many people, it might simply be a moral issue that doesn't touch them personally. we show our family as a way of saying this is who it effects and we are real people. >> all right. daniel lefew and father brian
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lefew. thank you for joining us. curious to see if you get a response from the chief justice. >> we hope you do. come back and tell us about it if you do. "end point" is next. [ man ] i got this citi thankyou card and started earning loads of points. we'll leave that there. you got a weather balloon, with points? yes i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. go. ♪ keep on going in this direction. take this bridge over here. there it is! [ man ] so i used mine to get a whole new perspective. [ laughter ] [ male announcer ] earn points with the citi thankyou card and redeem them for just about anything.
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